Original Theatre and Riverside Studio announce Originals starring Luke Thompson and Alex Kingston

Luke Thompson in Tikkun Olam. Photo: Tom Grace Portrait

Original Theatre and Riverside Studios have announced Originals online on demand, featuring the world première play-readings of Tikkun Olam by Teunkie Van Der Sluij, The Fall by Drew Hewitt, and Miles by Eilidh Nurse – the winners of Original Theatre Company’s Originals Playwriting Award. 

The three plays were chosen from hundreds of submissions entered to Original Theatre Company’s nationwide competition to discover unproduced playwrights. It was judged by Mike Bartlett, Sarah Butcher, Angel Coulby, Jack Holden, Nick Marston, Dafydd Rogers, Abdul Shayek and Rachel Tackley. 

Recorded live from Riverside Studios, the productions can be booked as a triple package, or Tikkun Olam as a standalone production, available to watch from Thursday 21 July 2022, 7.30pm (captions available from 31 July) until 21 July 2023. The Fall and Miles will be available individually later this year. 

Tikkun Olam, written by Teunkie Van Der Sluijs, is directed by Michael Boyd and stars Luke Thompson (Bridgerton), Diana Quick (Brideshead Revisited), Debbie Korley (King Lear) and Jake Fairbrother (National Theatre, Hamlet). tikkun olam: in everything you do, you must seek the opportunity to repair the world. Steve Alexander is preparing to stand as a Labour MP for the Westminster constituency. As part of his campaign, he is backing the building of a Holocaust memorial near Parliament Square. To help the campaign gain traction, Steve and his campaign manager Dan invite social influencer Leah on board as a one-woman focus group. As Dan, Steve and Leah try to persuade the divided community to back the memorial, their own motivations are challenged as the political and personal ties between them are tested to the very limit.  A powerful, funny, intelligent political drama that looks at the stark contrast in views and voices in and around our capital, the ever-growing divisions between the generations and the challenging task of mending, and learning to ensure we do - and are - better. 

Director Michael Boyd said of Tikkun Olam: “This particular play could not be more burningly topical about the state of labour party and the progressive left in the UK. Artists who dare to sit with the silent blank screen, or page, and sweat until they have a story and characters to tell it deserve every incentive we can give them. Directing the first reading of an original work is always a privileged and exciting moment of possibility and risk.”  

The Fall, written by Drew Hewitt, is directed by Charlotte Peters and stars Alex Kingston (ER, Doctor Who), Tyger Drew-Honey (Outnumbered), Sara Stewart (Transformers, Philomena) and Adrian Lukis (Original Theatre’s Being Mr Wickham). Janet and Liam are happily married until she stops talking to him. And everybody else. In an attempt to diagnose her loss of speech, she begins seeing a psychiatrist who starts to probe at a secret buried in the depths of Janet’s psyche, the revelation of which has profound and lasting implications not just for her but the entire family. This masterful play examines with wit, humour and searing honesty the complex ideas surrounding free will, love and the painful truths of existence. 

Miles, written by Eilidh Nurse, is directed by Amelia Sears and stars Gary Lewis (Billy Elliot, Gangs of New York), Hiftu Quasem (Ten Percent, Killing Eve), Cristian Ortega (Vigil) and Lewis Mackinnon (Young Wallander). ‘I feel like I’ve lost all this time.’ Somewhere in Scotland, miles from anywhere, Bobby’s Caravan Park is struggling, in fact it’s crumbling. Janie is the only employee and she’s been stuck out here for longer than she cares to admit - and she’s drinking more than she’s willing to admit, yet frankly who cares anymore? Ed can’t pass the Tesco quiz, he can’t go out in the rain without his cag in a bag, he can’t drive and he can’t help who he’s related to. But at least he’s got a new job... at Bobby’s Caravan park. Hopes, dreams and families collide in this searing, tender yet funny play that asks what it means to process our past and the traumas that lie within.  

One of the first companies to launch online versions of their plays, Original Theatre have produced 16 digital productions since March 2020 and streamed their work globally to 57 countries. This led to most recently winning a Critics’ Circle Award for an outstanding contribution to British Theatre. Their work has ranged from filming Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong to Apollo 13 to an award-winning zombie short Viral shot on iPhones in locked-down Peckham. Over lockdown they employed over 200 freelancers. Their work has been widely praised and they have recently been credited with creating “an entirely new dramatic genre” (The Guardian).  In February 2022, the company won a One Off Award at this year’s OFFIES in recognition of its work over the past 18 months. 

Alastair Whatley, Artistic Director of Original Theatre Company, said: “The pandemic has made it harder than ever for writers to get their work on stage and so we wanted to make a big, bold and ambitious project that could harness our digital work to help discover what we hope might just be three modern classics. Three plays chosen from hundreds of entries, picked by our expert judges and put on stage by a group of brilliant creative people. My thanks to all the writers who submitted their plays and the small army of people working behind the scenes to bring these three plays to the stage.” 

Visit: https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/42/on-demand-originals-at-riverside-studios.

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